TAMPA - Most of us see Tampa's Old City Hall clock tower from the street where you'd never notice her age is starting to show.
"Unfortunately, it's kind of getting a little old. We've had some challenges. We had roof leaks up there," said City of Tampa Public Works Director Irwin Lee.
The city is spending half-a-million dollars to spruce her up. It will be the clock tower's first major facelift in a century and we wanted to see the historic restoration from up top.
"The history that this building has is incredible,” said Manny Kavouklis, President of CMK Construction.
History Kavouklis is working to restore and protect atop six-stories of scaffolding where you can hear the bustle of Kennedy Boulevard below.
Crews are replacing the copper dome, patching cracked glazed terracotta and reinforcing rusted lentils above the clock's huge face.
"We have a protective plywood covering over them right now because we're restoring the glass that was behind the metal face." Kavouklis said.
The clock tower is a city icon. She was named after Tampa socialite Hortense Oppenheimer Ford who helped raise money to build her. Constructed of granite, brick and copper in 1915, the robust materials were symbols of Tampa's secure future. The clock tower’s bell still rings on the half hour and hour as she did back then.
Now Kavouklis is working to preserve her past. The work will be completed for the Republican National Convention in August.
"As far as all the capitals, they're going to go back to their original design just like they were back in 1915 when this building was completed," Kavouklis said.
Hortense may be a century old but when crews are done she'll look like she did in 1915.
They hope she'll last another hundred years.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.